When deciding whether or not to release inmates from jail, public officials probably tried to weigh the risks. Would the public be in greater danger if inmates were released, or would more people lose their lives being locked up with COVID-19 patients? It shouldn’t have been an easy decision, and I get the move. I really do. They’d personally be on the hook if the virus tore through jails because of overcrowding and officials did nothing to try and mitigate the threat.
However, it doesn’t look like officials were all that careful with who got released. In fact, in New York alone, over 100 inmates from Rikers Island have been arrested for new crimes.
Over 100 inmates who were released from Rikers Island due to coronavirus concerns have been arrested again.
Police sources claim that released inmates have been responsible for 190 arrests since the pandemic hit. Of the 1500 inmates released in March, 7% have reoffended, according to a New York Post report.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the release of the prisoners in late March after approximately 91 inmates out of every 1,000 tested positive for coronavirus, according to The Intercept. Democratic New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said that prisoners over 50 or with pre-existing health conditions that would make them more susceptible to coronavirus would be prioritized for release.
About a quarter of those arrested have been busted for burglary, but at least some others have been arrested for violent crimes.
DeBlasio’s prioritization probably didn’t help. As we’ve seen, when you create criteria like age and health conditions for release, you may well be releasing some of the very worst people possible. For example, Washington almost released a notorious serial killer. So far, there’s no word of New York having gone that far, but they’ve gone far enough.
The problem is that officials in the notoriously liberal state felt like they had to do something to protect inmates. Unfortunately, the only thing they could think of under the circumstances was to let them out and allow them to run roughshod over the law-abiding people of New York.
These are criminals. Many are career criminals. If released, what do you think they’re going to do? You’re deluded if you think they’re going to take up knitting and join a book club.
No, they’re going back to their criminal ways. They’re going to rob, steal, and hurt people. They’re going right back to doing what they know.
After all, if they get arrested, they know they’ll probably get released right back into the general population for as long as the pandemic continues. Oh, they’ll do more time in the long run, but these folks aren’t known for weighing the long-term consequences of their actions anyway. If they did, they wouldn’t be criminals in the first place, most likely.
The question is, just how many people are going to be hurt in the long run because of these people. Even if all of the re-arrested were busted for burglary, that still hurts people. Especially in tough economic times that we already find ourselves in.
And the thing is, they’re not all arrested for burglary. Some are doing much worse and expect to see still more come before this is all over.